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Where Apps Are Stored on Android and How to Access Them [4 Ways]

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Android, founded on Linux, is an open-source operating system tailored for mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. Applications on Android are software written by developers that can run on Android devices, providing various functions and services. So, where are the apps stored on Android? How can you access the app files on Android? This article will present information about the storage location and access methods of apps on Android, helping you better manage and utilize your Android device.

 

Part 1. Where Are Apps Stored on Android?

Applications on Android are typically stored in the following locations:

  • System applications: /system/app
  • System privileged applications: /system/priv-app
  • User applications: /data/app
  • Application private data directory (requires Root permission for access): /data/data or /data/user/<user_id> or /data/user_de/<user_id>
  • Application shared data directory (requires "Documents" app for access or authorization on Android 11 and above): /data/media/<user_id>/Android/data or /storage/self/primary/Android/data or /sdcard/Android/data

Different applications may use different storage locations, depending on the developer and the Android version. You can use file manager apps to view the installation location and cache data of applications.

Part 2. How to Access App Files on Android

There are several methods to access application files on Android. Here are some commonly used approaches:

Way 1. How to Find App Files on Android by Coolmuster Lab.Fone for Android

Coolmuster Lab.Fone for Android stands out as a professional and comprehensive Android data recovery software. Its primary function is to aid users in recovering a wide array of data types on their Android devices, encompassing crucial categories such as text messages, contacts, photos, videos, music, documents, and more. Notably, this versatile software goes beyond data recovery capabilities, offering users the convenience of effortlessly locating and exploring application files on Android.

Whether it's system applications or user-installed apps, Coolmuster Lab.Fone for Android provides seamless access to these files, even if they have been uninstalled. This feature allows users to navigate through both installed and uninstalled applications, providing a comprehensive overview of their Android device's application landscape. With its user-friendly interface and robust functionality, Coolmuster Lab.Fone for Android stands as a reliable solution for managing and recovering data on Android devices.

Key features of Coolmuster Lab.Fone for Android:

You just need to follow these steps to learn how to access app files on Android using Coolmuster Lab.Fone for Android.

01Download and install Coolmuster Lab.Fone for Android on your computer. Launch the program and click "Android Recovery" to manage Android data.

run the software

02Connect your Android device to the computer using a USB data cable, then follow the on-screen instructions to enable USB debugging mode. Check the data you want to view, and click "Next".

connect device to computer

03You have the option to select either "Quick Scan" or "Deep Scan" mode. Once chosen, please click "Continue" to initiate the data scan on your Android phone.

scan deleted text messages

04Now, on the left side of the software, you will see the app files on your phone. Choose the data you want to view. Of course, if you accidentally deleted data, click "Recover" to restore it.

how to access app files on android

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Way 2. How to View App Files on Android with File Manager

A file manager is a tool that enables you to explore and oversee files and directories on your Android device. Some Android devices come with a pre-installed file manager, while others may require you to download and install one from the app store. Using a file manager, you can view application files on Android, but accessing certain files may require obtaining Root permissions. You can follow these steps of how to find app files on Android:

Step 1. Launch the file manager application on your Android device and find the storage location of the application you want to view, such as "/data/app" or "/sdcard/Android/data".

Step 2. Click on the folder of the application you want to view, where you can see all the files and folders associated with that app.

Step 3. You can open or copy the desired application files on your Android device and also directly delete unnecessary application files from your Android device.

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Way 3. How to Find App Files on Android Using a Computer

You can also use a computer to find application files on Android, but this method can only access the application's shared data directory and cannot access the application's private data directory or system app directory. Below are the detailed steps:

Step 1. Connect your Android device to the computer using a USB data cable and select "Transfer files" mode on your Android device.

how to find app files on android

Step 2. Open the file explorer on your computer and locate the icon for your Android device, then double-click to open it.

Step 3. Find the storage location of the application you want to view, such as "/storage/self/primary/Android/data" or "/sdcard/Android/data".

Step 4. Double-click the folder of the application you want to view, where you can see all the files and folders associated with that app.

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Way 4. How to Access App Files on Android Through ADB

ADB (Android Debug Bridge) is a utility enabling communication with your Android device through a computer. You can use it to execute various commands, including accessing application files on Android. With ADB, you can access any file of any application, but you need to install the ADB tool on your computer and enable USB debugging mode on your Android device. Follow these steps:

Step 1. Download and install the ADB tool on your computer, then unzip it to a convenient location, such as "C:\adb".

Step 2. Connect your Android device to the computer using a USB data cable and enable USB debugging mode on your Android device.

Step 3. Open the command prompt on your computer and enter "c:\adb", then press "Enter" to navigate to the directory of the ADB tool.

how to view app files on android

Step 4. Type adb devices and hit "Enter" to verify whether your Android device is successfully connected. If successful, you should see the serial number of your Android device.

Step 5. Enter the adb shell and press "Enter" to enter the Shell environment of your Android device. Here, you can execute various Linux commands like ls, cd, cp, rm, etc.

Step 6. Locate the storage location of the application you want to view, such as "/data/app" or "/system/app", and use the ls command to view all files and folders in that directory.

Step 7. Utilize the cp command to duplicate the desired application file to your computer, for example, "cp /data/app/com.example.app/base.apk /sdcard/base.apk". Then, use the adb pull command to pull it from the Android device to the computer, for example, "adb pull /sdcard/base.apk C:\base.apk".

Step 8. You can open or copy the desired application files on your computer. Alternatively, employ the rm command to erase unnecessary application files from your Android device, for example, "rm /sdcard/base.apk".

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FAQs of Where Apps Are Stored in Android

1. What is stored in the Android App Data folder?

The Android application data folder refers to the directory where an application stores its private data, including settings, cache, databases, logs, and more. Each application has a corresponding data folder, typically located at "/data/data or /data/user/<user_id>" or "/data/user_de/<user_id>". These folders usually require Root permissions to access as they contain sensitive information and configurations of the application. Accidentally deleting these folders may result in the application not functioning properly or data loss.

2. How to clear app data on Android?

Clearing Android app data refers to the deletion of an application's private data, such as settings, cache, databases, logs, etc., to free up storage space or resolve issues with the application. You can follow these steps:

Step 1. Open the "Settings" app on your Android device and select the "Apps" or "Application Management" option.

Step 2. Find the application for which you want to clear data, then tap on it to access the application's information page.

Step 3. Click on the "Storage" or "Storage Space" option, and then tap "Clear data" or "Clear cache".

how to clear app data on android

3. Can I change the default storage location for app installations?

The default storage location for app installations is determined by the device and cannot be easily changed by users. However, some devices allow you to move certain apps to external storage manually.

4. Can I move apps to an SD card for storage?

Depending on the device and Android version, some apps can be moved to an SD card to free up internal storage. This option is available in the App info settings for individual apps.

Conclusion

In conclusion, understanding where apps are stored on Android is crucial for effective management and troubleshooting. Whether exploring through file managers, utilizing Android Debug Bridge (ADB), or navigating app directories, users can optimize their Android experience. For a comprehensive approach to app data recovery and management, consider leveraging Coolmuster Lab.Fone for Android - a reliable tool that simplifies the process and ensures data integrity with ease.

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